Play 3v3 against Landon Donovan, Brian Ching, Stuart Holden
The Austin Aztex announced Monday that they're partnering with Brian Ching, Stuart Holden, and Landon Donovan for a charity event at the Aztex game Aug. 1. Bidding opened Tuesday for three lucky fans to play a 3v3 game against the U.S. national team stars at halftime, sit with them in the second half, or get an autographed jersey. Proceeds benefit the Aztex Soccer Foundation.
The three former players are founders of Helm Soccer School, and they're in town for the three-day camp, taking place July 31-Aug. 2 at Onion Creek Soccer Complex. "We are thrilled to bring our inaugural Helm Soccer camp to Austin," said Donovan in a press release. "The Austin Aztex have been instrumental in making our first camp a reality, and we are excited to be able to support the Aztex as well as the Aztex Soccer Foundation in helping to serve the Austin community." Helm Soccer's mission is "to enhance the lives of America's youth by maximizing their soccer potential and giving back to local and national charities." See more at www.helmsoccer.com.
But first things first: The Aztex start a crucial home-and-home series this Friday, hosting Arizona United, one of the teams ahead of them in the USL playoff chase. The Aztex need to get their offense untracked, and are hoping that midfielder Romain Gall, on loan from MLS affiliate Columbus Crew, can combine with Kris Tyrpak, expected back after missing Saturday's 1-0 loss in Salt Lake City.
Remember: For the rest of this season, the Aztex are playing at Kelly Reeves Stadium, at 10211 W. Parmer, just past Lakeline Boulevard. It's a long way north, but as a cool perk, the Aztex struck a deal with Capital Metro, to offer ticket-holders a free train ride to and from the game, including a shuttle bus between Lakeline Station, the stadium, and the League Kitchen & Tavern, now the official pre- and post-game location. To ride for free, visit www.austinaztex.com/capmetro and print the free pass; show that and a game ticket to ride for free. Check the MetroRail schedule at www.capmetro.org... See www.austinaztex.com for more info, and a variety of ticket packages.
The U.S. men won their group in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, edging Honduras and Haiti, and drawing with Panama, but not looking that good, and getting outshot in every game. The tepid performances led coach Jürgen Klinsmann to drop Jozy Altidore for the knockout rounds, and bring on DaMarcus Beasley, Joe Corona, and Alan Gordon. And it's on to the quarterfinals: 4pm this Saturday, July 18, in Baltimore against either El Salvador or Guatemala. The semifinal will be at 5pm Wednesday, July 22, in Atlanta against Haiti or Jamaica, and the final is 6:30pm Sunday, July 26, in Philadelphia; every match live on Fox networks.